Midfield Magician Juan Mata may be able to make balls levitate, but is he a Mourinho type of player?
Anyone else seeing this phrase scattered all over the social media universe and wondering what the hell it means? It seems to constantly be related to articles relating to Juan Mata leaving Chelsea, and this is one of the pieces of reasoning they give for his departure: “he’s not a Mourinho type of player”? Anyone know what that means? No? Okay, well, I’m going to try and explain it for you, in a slightly light hearted manor. Then we can work out if Mata is indeed “not a Mourinho type of player”.
One thing Mourinho absolutely loves is passion and desire. Someone who works hard for his shirt, someone who always gives their all. If a player doesn’t give their all, Jose is well known for hooking them off the pitch and replacing them with someone with more hunger.
Does Juan Mata pass this test? Yes. We all know Juan Mata bleeds blue.
Love for Jose:
Because Jose is a sensitive soul, he requires a lot of tender love and care. He needs people to fight his corner, give him unprecedented support and cuddle every now and then. Take Materazzi, a player who supported Mourinho through thick and thin, and was someone who supported Jose when Rafa came to Inter and tried to remove Mourinho and his legacy from the San Siro.
Does Juan Mata pass this test? So far, the love is yet to fully blossom. The constant departure speculation has probably prevented love at first sight for these two stylish Europeans, but Mata has been praising when he’s been asked about the Happy One. Kind of like telling others you fancy someone, in the hope they find out via word of mouth. Mata and Jose haven’t hit it off yet, so Juan hasn’t passed this test just yet.
Given Mourinho’s often defensive style of play and grinding out results, obviously a Mourinho type of player must be capable of doing his defensive duties. A lot of players who blossomed under Mourinho have all been ones who worked incredibly hard in the defensive phases of their teams play. Wingers who track back are an immediate favourite of the Portuguese, probably why Arjen Robben’s run at Chelsea ended a little prematurely.
Does Juan Mata pass this test? No. When it comes to defending, Juan Mata is in the Josh McEachran league. When his team don’t have the ball, Juan Mata is well known to be more interested in spotting a cloud shaped like something mildly amusing rather than winning the ball back. Mourinho will want his midfielders to constantly press the opposition, something I don’t think our little Special Juan is really capable of doing.
Mourinho is Portuguese, he likes Portuguese people. Also known for having a mild inclination to Africans, such as Samuel Eto’o, Didier Drogba and Michael Essien.
Does Juan Mata pass this test? As Juan Mata is Spanish, no.
Throughout his career, Jose Mourinho has bought born winners into his club, and those who aren’t born winners, he’s made into ones. Players who are successful and who know how to win are popular with the Special One. This is all similar to the passion section I referred to earlier, but Mourinho loves players who do whatever they can to win and be successful.
Does Juan Mata pass this test? Yes. Given Mata’s success on a domestic stage and also in the Internationals, you’d have to say he knows how to win. A born winner is our Juan, and we are blessed to have him.
The arch nemesis of Jose, the club he will never tire of beating. Rejected by Barca a few years ago, the Catalan’s remain a mortal enemy of Mourinho as he seeks his vengeance. He got the better of them at Inter, beat them several times with Real, and also with Chelsea.
Does Juan Mata pass this test? As a Real Madrid academy graduate, you’d think he would have at least a mild hatred for the Nou Campers.
Strength and Power:
The Chelsea team of 2004/05 was a team built with power and protein shakes, the Champions League winning Inter squad was a team of similar power and protein shakes. When in doubt, Mourinho likes to batter his opposition, both physically and in scoreline terms.
Does Juan Mata pass this test? Haha, no.
Hatred of referees:
Throughout the course of history, Mourinho has had numerous spats and controversies involving referees and their decisions.
Does Juan Mata pass this test? As a graduate from the Spanish Footballing School of Moaning About Decisions – like the rest of the national team – it would seem Juan Mata is not a fan of the men with the whistles. Besides, he’s never done this to one of them (15th second): http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nyn99RKbRes
So what can we draw from this? Well the results are that Juan scores a 4 and a half out of 8 in my very unscientific ‘Mourinho type of player test’. That means he’s 56.25% of a Mourinho player. As you can’t have 56.25% of a full person, you must either have a full person or no person, you have to round it. If you round that, Mata is 100% a Mourinho player, therefore meaning everything reported in the press about him not being one is therefore wrong and unreliable.
I hope you’ve enjoyed this and not taken it all too seriously, I just thought we’d take a break from the serious topics for a bit.